Yelta is an iron steam tug.
Yelta was built in 1949 to a design that was prepared by Cockatoo Dockyard staff. It was fitted with a triple expansion engine that had been built for a corvette during the Second World War and was now surplus. It was built for Adelaide Steamship Company and spent the next 27 years berthing craft and towing them in and out of Port Adelaide. Yelta was retired in November 1976 as South Australia’s last fully operational steam tug. The tug remains in excellent operating condition and is one of a select few ex-commercial steam vessels remaining afloat around Australia. It now provides regular cruises of the Port River.
Yelta holds technological significance as the only working steam tug in South Australia. Its triple expansion engine is an example of a design which powered ships of all sizes through much of the twentieth century. Socially, Yelta was the workplace and temporary home for crews, and its fabric represents much about their working lives and relations.
Length overall: 30.48 m
Beam: 7.62 m
Draught: 3.81 m
Maker: Cockatoo Island Dockyard
Associated locations: Cockatoo Island, Port Adelaide